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Elizabeth Bishop: Objects & Apparitions    Dec 8, 2011 - Jan 21, 2012


“…How I wish I’d been a painter…that must really be the best profession – none of this fiddling around with words…”

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an unprecedented exhibition of original artworks by poet Elizabeth Bishop and works from her personal collection. This marks the gallery’s second exhibition of the poet’s work; the first was presented in 1996. The show will also include Bishop’s desk from Brazil, where one imagines she wrote some of her important late poems, along with vitrines containing books, photographs, and smaller objects that she collected over the years on her travels.

One hundred years since her birth, and just over thirty years since her death, Bishop is now considered among the most important American poets of the Twentieth Century. Until now, the one facet of her life that has not been explored fully is the transformative role that the visual arts played in her creative output over her lifetime. Bishop made her own art, mostly in the form of intimate watercolors, gouaches, and drawings. She collected art during her years in Brazil, and was also given (and acquired) pieces by her family and closest artist friends. Like her poems, her own artworks possess an unpretentious earthiness combined with an acute eye for detail of everyday life. She made her art quietly, privately, and gave many of them away to friends over the years. The works in this exhibition were all in her collection at the time of her death.

The exhibition will evoke the poet’s private, domestic world. It will comprise rarely exhibited original works by the artist, including enchanting watercolors and gouaches, as well as two enigmatic box assemblages that are indebted to Joseph Cornell. In addition, the exhibition will include a selection of works by other artists: two paintings by the primitive painter Gregorio Valdes, an early Calder print, a relief painting by John Ferren, among others. There will also be two family portraits and a landscape that she inherited, which she writes about in her poems and prose pieces.

The gallery is publishing a 48 page hardbound book with texts by noted writers Dan Chiasson, Joelle Biele and the Pulitzer prize winning writer Lloyd Schwartz.

The exhibition is presented in association with James S. Jaffe Rare Books, LLC.

For further information and visuals please contact the gallery at 212.262.5050 or info@tibordenagy.com.

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